12-Minute Lemony Noodle + Zoodle Toss

Sigh, sometimes you feel like zoodles, other times you feel like traditional noodles. What’s a hungry gal or guy to do? The solution, a plate full of 12 Minute Zoodle & Noodle Toss that boasts both!

12 Minute Zoodle Noodle Toss

True, using spiralized veggies cuts out grains and, subsequently, a lot of the carbs. But, sometimes a hard-working athlete needs a little traditional pasta to help fuel the proverbial engine.   Get your mouth and motor running with this easy-peasy recipe, read on for the deets!  Continue reading

Beefy Butternut-Carrot-Coconut Cream Noodle Bowls … Mmmm, Pasta!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®  & La Moderna but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Eating bowl full of La Moderna Golden Harvest NoodlesNoodle night has been a “thing” at my house ever since my boys were toddlers who dared venture only as far as plain buttered pasta. Now all three are teens (one’s nearly 20) with taste buds much more adventurous and welcoming to new ingredients at our noodle nights. Since this mama is a healthy foodie, my family has come to expect my pasta recipes to be packed with as much nutrition and flavor as possible to optimize our active lifestyle. Food is fuel, but it should taste good too!

Molasses Steak on Butternut Carrot coconut Cream Pasta seems rich and sinful, but is actually a health and diary-free dinner.

My healthy pasta recipe today is Butternut-Carrot-Coconut Cream Noodle Bowls with Molasses Steak. For most of us, pasta equates “comfort” and eating it out of a big bowl packed with fresh, flavorful and fit-focused ingredients is not only an edible hug of happiness, but also one of health! I’ve been one to cut carbs here and there, but I always come back to pasta when I need to fuel my long runs, intense workouts or even just jump out of a brain fog. Butternut Carrot Coconut "Alfredo"La Moderna Golden Harvest is a brand I’ve been going back to time and time again for my pasta creations. Not only is the consistency, texture and flavor of this 100% Durum Wheat product on point, it’s also a good source of protein (8 grams per serving) thanks to the special selection of high protein wheat that is harvested from desert valleys on Mexico bordering California.

butternut-carrot-coconut-cream-noodle-bowl-overhead-la-moderna

The main protein source for my pasta bowl is sirloin steak that has been soaked in a mollassas marinade, grilled indoors or out, and sliced thinly into bite-sized pieces. While I’ve used lean top sirloin, you could also use any other steak cut that you prefer (such as strip or flat iron) or even heat up leftover roast or brisket. Spinach beefs up this recipe with even more iron in addition to my steak, it’s a must-have mineral this runner girl always needs to cure her fatiuge!

butternut-carrot-coconut-cream-sauceThe sauce is super creamy and rich, but surprisingly healthy made of wholesome ingredients including pureed butternut squash, carrots, coconut butter and coconut milk – there is no cheese or traditional milk, so this recipe remains dairy-free. It’s so creamy and rich tasting, it has the texture of an alfredo sauce, but my version it’s so much more sensible for an athlete’s diet. Plus, it’s seasoned with turmeric and ginger which have a host of health benefits to support optimal wellness.

la-moderna-producgts

La Moderna comes in many familiar past shapes including spaghetti, elbow, rigate and rotini and you can find them at your local Walmart, that’s where I shop for mine. Check out the product locator before you head out shopping! Also, learn more about the brand and stay up to date on their latest products and promotions by following their social media – La Moderna Facebook, La Moderna Twitter, La Moderna Instagram, and La Moderna Pinterest

beefy-butternut-carrot-coconut-cream-pasta-toes

What is your favorite pasta shape? What is your favorite sauce or toppings? Do you use pasta to “carb-load” ? Please share in the comment below – XOXO, Jennifer

Beefy Butternut-Carrot-Coconut Cream Noodle Bowls
Print Recipe
Beef up your noodle bowl with protein rich pasta and a rich, creamy but healthy dairy-free sauce made from butternut, coconut, carrots and turmeric.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Beefy Butternut-Carrot-Coconut Cream Noodle Bowls
Print Recipe
Beef up your noodle bowl with protein rich pasta and a rich, creamy but healthy dairy-free sauce made from butternut, coconut, carrots and turmeric.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
For marinade & steak:
For Pasta & Sauce:
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Whisk together molasses, vinegar, oil, pepper, garlic, ginger, thyme, and red pepper flakes, and pour into plastic zip-top bag containing steaks. Seal tightly and flip a few times to evenly distribute marinade. Set in refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours, flipping bag occasionally. Preheat gas, charcoal grill or indoor grill pan to 400 F degrees. Remove meat and discard marinade. Season with salt and more pepper to taste. Place steaks on oiled grates and grill for approximately 7 to 9 minutes on one side, or until moisture starts to pool on the top and beef releases easily from grates with tongs. Flip once, grilling on the other side for 6 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135 F degrees with instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of steak Transfer plates to platter and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing against the grain, and then cutting again into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, add chopped squash and carrots to microwave safe container and add ½ cup water. Loosely place lid on container or vent with plastic wrap and microwave on high for approximately 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables softened. Drain water and set aside. In large skillet, add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and bring to medium high heat. Add diced onion and cook for several, stirring constantly, until onions translucent and turning golden brown on edges. Transfer cooked squash, carrots, and onion with garlic to blender. Add ginger, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Pour in 2 cups of coconut milk and pulse until finely pureed. If needed, add up to another ½ cup of coconut milk a splash at a time to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Boil pasta according to manufacturer’s directions on box. Drain but do not rinse. Set aside. Transfer pureed mixture back to skillet to reheat gently over medium-low heat. Stir in chopped spinach and cooked noodles, stirring until combined for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer to individual bowls or serve family style on a platter. Top with sliced beef. Garnish with chopped parsley and unsweetened, shredded coconut.
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Dragon Fruit Coulis Fish with Pink Rice Vermecilli

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkened Rice VermicelliMake dinner “Pretty in Pink” with this lovely and light recipe for Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pink Rice Vermicelli. Dragon Fruit is just so fabulous and exotic, I get woozy with excitement when I find some beautiful ones at the market just waiting for loving attention.   This easy-to-make fish dinner is as delicious and nutritious as it is lovely to look at —  how fun would it be for a spa party, girl’s night in, special celebration or even just an impressive (and simple) weeknight dinner.  I don’t like my food to look or taste boring, do you?!

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod

I get my Atlantic Cod and other fish and seafood from SizzleFish.com. Their flaky, white cod is caught on Georges Bank off New England and Nova Scotia – they chose only premium fish for customers and they never try to pass of Pacific Cod (a completely different, cheaper variety of fish) as some other vendors do.  I love this company that makes it quick and easy to make a healthy meal with their flash-frozen seafood collections. These assortments of high-quality fish, shrimp and other seafood are mindfully sourced from the best the world has to offer and shipped straight to my front door in perfectly –portioned, individually vacuum-sealed pouches. SizzleFish.com is the perfect way to make sure there is always quality protein around for muscle-making.

****Note: While I used Cod, you can use any type of firm, white-fleshed fish for this recipe. Also, mung cellophane noodles can be swapped for the rice vermicelli

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkend Rice Vermecelli -- as pretty as it is healthy to eat!

Do you know much about the Dragon Fruit? It’s also referred to as a Pitaya, Strawberry Pear or Mood Flower and is the unusually striking fruit of a cactus – don’t worry, there are no thorns or stickers on it!  There are different types of Drago Fruit – pink or yellow exterior and white or magenta interiors speckled with tiny edible seeds. Despite their showy appearance, the taste is quite mild, similar to a kiwi –the purple-pink fleshed ones will actually stain your hands  — and I took advantage of that dye-like property for the creation of my Pink Dragon Fruit Rice Noodles.

Pink Dragon Fruit Rice Vermacelli are gluten-free noodles soaked in water with this exotic fruit to create the vibrant color!

 

Have you ever tasted a dragon fruit? What is your favorite color? Please share in the comments below — XOXO, Jennifer

Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermicelli
Dragon Fruit Coulis Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermecilli
Print Recipe
In 15 minutes, you can make a "Pretty in Pink" fish dinner that is almost to beautiful to eat -- but please do, this recipe is tasty and healthy!
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Dragon Fruit Coulis Atlantic Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermicelli
Dragon Fruit Coulis Cod with Pinkened Rice Vermecilli
Print Recipe
In 15 minutes, you can make a "Pretty in Pink" fish dinner that is almost to beautiful to eat -- but please do, this recipe is tasty and healthy!
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rub fish with salt on all sides.
  2. Heat coconut oil to medium high in small skillet. Add fish and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until flaky and no longer transparent.
  3. Meanwhile, add dragon fruit and noodles to large bowl and top with very hot, almost boiling water. Let this soak for 3 to 5 minutes or until noodles softened.
  4. Carefully remove "nests" of noodles. Pour liquid through small-mesh strainer to reserve dragon fruit. Set noodles aside.
  5. Remove fish from skillet. Add reserved dragon fruit, white wine, vinegar, and sriracha and cook for several minutes over medium high until fruit breaking down and liquid reduced.
  6. To serve, place fish on noodle nest and top with dragon fruit coulis. Add additional vegetables if desired.
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Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup + #KeepingFitFun

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.January is National Soup Month, so I’ve been busy making a new pot of healthy, hearty and warming comfort every couple days – I will share everything in a Soup Roundup soon!  Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy my latest creation – Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup! It’s so delicious and packed with oodles of healthy veggie ingredients along with brown rice noodles. I’ve used crab in the recipe (mainly I was looking for an excuse to eat crab), but shrimp or chicken would make perfectly acceptable and yummy substitutes.

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.

Y’all know with my busy family, work and fitness training schedule, I’m a convenience lover – but keep in mind I stock up on HEALTHY helpers, not your typical sodium, sugar and fat-loaded convenience products.  Some of the convenience ingredients I’ve used in the soup recipe to reduce prep time include the Power Blend from Mann’s  Vegetables (a blend of Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale) and Odowalla 100% Carrot Juice. I also used Better that Bouillon Vegetable Base and  the Thai Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles from Explore Asian (see my past recipes), as I find they taste super and the texture holds up really well!

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Bowl

I’m also sticking to my intention to #KeepFitFun in 2016 with handstand and backbend practice – just like I was some sort of kid!

Spiced Beet & Carrot SoupLooking for another quick and unique carrot soup recipe? Try this Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup from CookingLight.com . . . its a delicious riot of root veggies!

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is in your soup pot this week? What are you doing to #KeepFitFun ? Please share in the comments below – XOXO,  Jennifer

Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition -- feel free to swap out the protein for chicken or shrimp , if needed.
Thai Carrot Crab Noodle Soup
Print Recipe
Enjoy the exotic taste and oodles of healthy veggies along with brown rice noodles in this easy Thai inspired soup recipe.
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high in large stock pot. Add red onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened.
  2. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes until fragrant.
  3. Toss in bag of veggie slaw (no dressing!) and stir for 30 seconds to coat with spices.
  4. Add carrot juice, coconut milk, vegetable broth, fish sauce and lime juice to stock pot. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium low to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add brown rice noodles and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add crab during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. To serve, garnish with lime wedges.
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Noodle Power! Three Healthy Pasta Recipes

Holy macaroni, October is National Pasta Month! That makes me want to turn cartwheels for saucy wagon wheels and do extra kettle bells for stuffed shells!  Even though statistics from the National Pasta Association show that, on average, American families eat pasta seven times a month, athletes and folks watching their weight often avoid pasta in all shapes and sizes, shamed by the bad carb rap it sometimes gets. True, pasta made with highly-processed, refined white flour isn’t the best thing for your body. The outer shell of the grain is stripped, removing important fiber minerals and vitamins. In addition, many people can’t tolerate wheat and gluten foods at all. The good news is that you can still celebrate Pasta Month thanks to a cornucopia of healthier pastas and pasta alternatives.

Turning cartwheels for healthy pasta!

Turning cartwheels for healthy pasta!

Since we don’t have any food allergies or intolerances in my family, whole grain pasta is a go-to choice for my recipes – it has lots of fiber and vitamin B. These days it seems like you can get nearly every pasta type from bow tie to ziti in a whole grain option.  Rice noodles and bean-based noodles are good substitutes for folks on a gluten-free diet as are buckwheat noodles (aka Soba noodles) which actually aren’t wheat at all – technically buckwheat is the fruit of a plant called Fagopyrum esculentum. Other ideas for alternative pasta includes spaghetti squash, zucchini ribbons, shredded cabbage and the famous yet strange shirataki pasta noodles made from a soluble fiber called “glucomannan.”  These three recipes use whole-grain pasta, but feel free to use what works best in your diet.

jennifer fisher thefitfork.com taco bake med

Lightened Beef Taco Pasta Bake

  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 ¼ oz packet reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernals
  • 3 cups uncooked whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat Ranch dip
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Garnish: grape tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 F degree oven.

Brown beef in skillet over medium heat; drain. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce and corn. Bring mixture to a boil; remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to manufacturer’s directions. Drain. In large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, ranch dip, salsa, and ½ cup of cheese.

Spoon macaroni mixture into a 9”x13” baking dish. Top with beef mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Sprinkle on tortilla ships and cilantro.

Bake at 350 F degrees uncovered for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Garnish with grape tomatoes.

Serves 6.

 

Lemon Citrus Shrimp & Spaghetti Recipe

Lemon Citrus Shrimp & Spaghetti was a huge hit with my husband. Tart but not too sour, this healthy pasta recipe is the perfect way add some light, fresh flavors to your fall menu. If you don’t want to go outside to grill the shrimp, they are easy to roast in the oven. Or, why complicate things? Just buy them pre-cooked at the chef-prepared fresh-food counter at your market.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - lemon citrus spaghetti shrimp

 

Thai Chicken Peanut Pasta Recipe

This Thai Chicken Peanut Pasta Recipe is a go-to recipe when I’m in a hurry to make a weeknight dinner. Ground chicken breast cooks up in a snap and for convenience I use packaged matchstick carrots unless I already have a stash prepped earlier in the week for salads. The sauce is simple to make and includes peanut butter and Sriracha. We never have leftovers!

jennifer fisher thefitfork thai chicken peanut pasta